New Waverley Lights Up Love with Monty Pythons Terry Gilliam

Movie director and Monty Python star Terry Gilliam was in Edinburgh on Friday(12 February) to unveil a 10-metre illuminated art work above the Waverley Arches, part of the £150 million New Waverley development in the heart of the city’s Old Town.

The neon art installation lights up a quote chosen by Gilliam from Don Quixote about the power of love, in celebration of Valentine’s Day of February 14th. It’s the first installation of the Words on the Street project being run by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, which is celebrating the area’s literary heritage with quotes brought to life across the city.

The project benefited from £25,000 funding from the New Waverley Community Fund, a partnership bringing together New Waverley and the City of Edinburgh Council, which is investing £200,000 into projects to brighten up the local area.

New Waverley is fast becoming recognised for its commitment to celebrating the arts.  To coincide with National Poetry Day in 2015, a 25-metre poem called Spiral, by Elizabeth Burns, was suspended from the redeveloped Old Sailor’s Ark building overlooking the Royal Mile. The development has also supported urban graffiti street art projects on hoardings and external facings.

Clive Wilding, New Waverley’s project director said: “These exciting projects show exactly why New Waverley is, and will become, such a special city centre destination.  They all celebrate the unique attributes that the area has – both in its physical and artistic heritage and the incredibly special atmosphere of Edinburgh’s Old Town. 

“We are pleased to support such brilliant and vibrant arts projects, highlighting what our development can bring to the city.”

The Waverley Arches are a row of 19 newly renovated Victorian arches on East Market Street, Edinburgh, accommodating some of the most exciting new independent operators to be found anywhere in the UK. New Waverley is fast becoming the place-to-be-seen in Edinburgh, with new hotels opening this year, as well as new homes, shops restaurants, offices and public open spaces.

Edinburgh’s New Waverley ‘Tops Out’ Onto The Royal Mile

Edinburgh’s £150 million New Waverley development, currently transforming the heart of the city’s Old Town, has reached another major milestone with the ‘Topping Out’ of the Adagio Aparthotel on the Royal Mile.

Construction of the 146-apartment aparthotel, incorporating a retained façade of the C-listed Sailor’s Ark building, has now reached its highest point, with the hotel due to open its doors by the end of 2016.

The celebration marks a significant turning point for the 7.5 acre New Waverley site, linking Waverley Station to the Royal Mile. Developers, Artisan Real Estate Investors, has also unveiled detailed plans for the Phase Two construction phase, creating two new buildings accommodating around 180 residential units and approximately 80,000 sq ft. of Grade A office space, together with new retail and restaurant units.

Artisan marked the occasion by officially launching the Waverley Arches, a row of 15 renovated Victorian arches which have created a brand new retail and leisure district for the city and are now occupied by an eclectic mix of independent traders, cafes and restaurants.

Welcoming this next stage of the area’s transformation, Clive Wilding, Artisan’s Project Director, said: “We are now witnessing New Waverley’s true scope and potential being delivered before us. At the start of the year we opened two Premier Inn hotels, and together with the huge interest in the Waverley Arches, we are seeing life, excitement and vibrancy returning to what had become a neglected part of the city.

“The Adagio aparthotel will continue this exciting momentum over the next 12 months, creating the perfect platform on which to launch the next commercial construction phase. This will see high quality office provision, new homes and more hospitality and retailers complete this unique integrated development, sitting at the heart of one of the most historic and environmentally sensitive areas to be found anywhere in the world.

“Artisan is delivering on its promises, and bringing life back into Edinburgh’s Old Town and the city centre – creating a new destination to work, live and play. This is an exciting time to be part of New Waverley.”
The Adagio Aparthotel will face directly onto the Royal Mile, linked to a new £2 million public square which will form a centrepiece for the new development. The two Whitbread Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotels opened in January 2016 providing a total of 248 bedrooms plus two retail units.

Vangelis Porikis, Aparthotels Adagio Director, added: “The opening of Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile is an important milestone in the global development of Adagio. Adagio is implementing a new generation concept for business travelers and ‘city breakers’ that is smart, economical and immersed in the city.

“We are working hard with Artisan to ensure our new aparthotel is itself connected in the history and culture of the city and gives our guests a base from which to enjoy this fantastic city and surrounding area. The Adagio Edinburgh will provide round-the-clock serviced accommodation, with staff on hand 24/7, combined with the flexibility and independence of 146 modern apartments.”

Historic Building To Be Transformed

An historic former school building next to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is to be converted into a spectacular boutique hotel and restaurant as part of the £150 million New Waverley development currently transforming the city’s Old Town.

The C-listed red sandstone Canongate Venture building, one of Edinburgh’s last remaining ‘School Board’ designs of the late-Victorian era, will become a 21-room luxury aparthotel, managed by Apple Apartments.

Plans for the two-story building include the conversion of the original school rooms into 21 double-height self-catering apartments, each with a mezzanine level providing separate sleeping and living areas. The rooms will overlook a light-filled glass atrium forming part of a spectacular central galleried hall, which has remained unchanged since the building was first designed in 1901 as an infant school by Edinburgh School Board architect Robert Wilson.

Launched in 2013, London-based Apple Apartments is fast-becoming one of the UK’s most successful niche aparthotel operators, specialising in the conversion of small-scale period buildings into high-quality serviced apartments. The company is run by Scottish businessman Billy Cowe and his brother Peter, who have been involved in global property management and development for the past 15 years.

“We knew straight away that this historic building would be perfect for our next specialist conversion project,” says Billy Cowe.
“As well as sitting alongside the Royal Mile, one of the world’s most iconic streets, it also has a range of striking features both inside and out, which make it genuinely stand out as a unique destination not just in Edinburgh but across the UK.

“There is a huge, growing demand for high-quality serviced apartments in good city-centre locations serving both corporate and leisure markets. The Canongate Venture is set to become a flagship aparthotel across our UK business, offering something a little different. As well as fully serviced rooms, we will also be incorporating 24-hour butler service, an exclusive customer lounge and a gourmet restaurant which will also provide room service for guests.”

Discussions for the ‘in-house’ restaurant are currently underway with top London names including an internationally recognised successful chef. As well as serving main meals, the restaurant will also provide a full room service menu for all the apartments – including breakfast.

Inside, the new boutique hotel will keep many of the original features such as the glass atrium and original wood floors. New features such as bespoke wood panelling walls and specially designed Tweeds will be used to create a 5-star high quality environment inspired by other flagship Apple developments, including Marconi House on the Strand in London.

The restoration of the Canongate Venture forms part of the latest phase of the New Waverley development currently transforming the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Delivered by Artisan Real Estate Investors, the 7.5 acre site links Waverley Station to the Royal Mile and the creation of a new hotel marks another significant milestone in the evolution of New Waverley as one of Edinburgh’s most anticipated new destinations.

“Apple Apartments is yet another brilliant addition for a location which is now delivering on its promises,” says Clive Wilding, New Waverley’s project director. “Since the turn of the year, we have opened two hotels – a Premier Inn and a Hub by Premier Inn – on site and are shortly to complete another, the Adagio Aparthotel, connecting to the Royal Mile through an exciting new public square.

“We are also welcoming more independent traders to The Waverley Arches, a row of 15 converted Victorian arches which sits along from the Canongate Venture. This is all contributing to a major buzz about the area, bringing life and excitement back to what was once a neglected part of the city.”

The transformation of the Canongate Venture building will be carried out by Edinburgh-based Staran Architects, who are also delivering the conversion of the Waverley Arches. Subject to final planning consents, it is anticipated that building work will begin in autumn 2016, aiming for completion by the second half of 2017.

For more information on New Waverley, visit this site and for Apple Apartments visit